Mack's MD Electric Simplifies Fleet Transition from Fossil Fuel - Equipment

Mack’s MD Electrical Simplifies Fleet Transition from Fossil Gas – Tools



Mack’s MD Electrical Is finest fitted to P&D and route supply functions with dry and refrigerated van our bodies, tow vehicles and light-weight dumps with e-PTO necessities, and stake our bodies.

Photograph: Jim Park


The medium-duty field truck could be the most effective prospect fleets have at this time for starting the transition to battery energy from conventional diesel or gasoline engines. There are nonetheless some painful realities to be overcome within the heavier Class 8 area, however a Class 6 or 7 field truck is concerning the easiest configuration on the highway at this time, and doubtless the simplest of the heavier car courses to impress.

The North American Council for Freight Effectivity (NACFE) believes that just about your complete medium-duty field truck market section is, proper now, ripe for electrification. That is about 380,000 automobiles, in line with NACFE, representing a doable avoidance of about 7.7 million metric tonnes of CO2e or “carbon dioxide equal” yearly.

Recognizing a possibility too good to go up, Mack Vans has tossed its hat into the BEV ring, with two new Class 6 and seven MD Electrical cab and chassis.

Mack’s MD Electrical was launched on the Nationwide Truck Tools Affiliation (NTEA) 2023 Work Truck Present in Indianapolis in March however made its media debut final week at a media/vendor ride-and-drive occasion on the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. On the identical occasion, Mack additionally launched particulars of a brand new “Truck-as-a-Service” subscription program that makes it a lot simpler for fleets, even actually small fleets, to transition away from fossil fuels.

The Truck

Because the identify suggests, the MD electrical is solely an electrical model of the now three-year-old MD mannequin. It is a fashionable cab based mostly on the Mack Anthem on-highway mannequin that places the truck again into medium responsibility. It is certain to draw curiosity from drivers on that depend alone. The cab is roomy and comfy with nice visibility and actually good ergonomics. On prime of the non-compulsory air-ride most important suspension, cab air suspension and an air-ride driver’s seat are customary gear.

The sprint panels and the instrument cluster stay largely unchanged from the diesel model. Gone, nevertheless, is the tachometer and a number of the monitoring gauges, like oil strain, coolant temp, and naturally, the gasoline gauge.

That tachometer is changed by an influence meter. It illustrates graphically the extent of present move into or out of the battery. For instance, when accelerating the needle swings to the fitting, when in regenerative braking mode, the needle swings to the left, indicating the battery is charging. That is THE most great tool for drivers wishing to take advantage of out of each cost. They may rapidly grasp that onerous acceleration — when the needle is pegged over the fitting — consumes numerous vitality.

There’s additionally a battery start-of-charge indicator that’s delicate sufficient to point out constructive outcomes throughout regen braking. Drivers will instantly see the advantages of taking advantage of each deceleration occasion, too.

MD Electrical is obtainable in 4×2 configurations, and it is effectively suited to the duty. It incorporates a quick 103-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) measurement and a ZF steering gear for certain steering and a pointy wheel lower in tight city settings.

The battery packs are positioned between the body rails in three places: beneath the hood, beneath the cab, and immediately behind the cab. Clients choosing the 150 kWh 2-battery configuration won’t see the battery immediately behind the cab.


Mack reviewed several powertrain options at the onset of the project, deciding ultimately on the SEA Electric solution. It was determined to be the best fit for its medium-duty product in the North American market.  -  Photo: Jim Park

Mack reviewed a number of powertrain choices on the onset of the mission, deciding in the end on the SEA Electrical answer. It was decided to be the most effective match for its medium-duty product within the North American market.

Photograph: Jim Park


“That is a secure place for the batteries, and it leaves the facet rails free for truck gear producers to mount issues they may want. It makes physique mounting simpler,” famous Scott Barraclough, Mack Vans’ senior product supervisor, emobility.

The body rails are clear for probably the most half, with only a small about of area on the right-hand facet simply behind the cab occupied by the 24-volt two-cylinder reciprocating air compressor for the truck’s air brake system. Over on the left-hand facet lives the cooling module for the batteries, motor, and energy electronics.

The batteries are air-cooled however that’s supplemented with temperature monitoring software program that can mechanically derate the output of the motor or sluggish the charging fee a little bit if any of these elements begins to get a little bit heat. There isn’t any radiator up entrance beneath the hood, leaving that area open for improved airflow over the delicate electronics. That additionally means there is no cooling system upkeep wanted.

Additional again on the body, simply ahead of the drive axle is the motor. It is linked on to the drive axle. There isn’t any transmission. It is direct drive, however the axle has a 5.75:1 discount. It will possibly handle a prime pace of 70 mph however there’s nonetheless tons of hill-busting torque obtainable at startup.

The highest of the body is flat, in fact, and all of the elements are mounted under body degree. It is enterprise as standard for the TEMs and physique installers. Mack has additionally used present bolt patterns the place doable to attenuate confusion throughout manufacturing and physique set up.

It is value noting that the load distribution of the truck has hardly modified. It is solely 3,000 kilos heavier than a diesel. It picked up a little bit extra weight on the steer axle than the drive axle, however prospects will not have to fret if present payloads are inside spec for the truck.

The MD Electrical is aimed on the route supply market, meals service, and so forth., and is ideally suited to dry or refrigerated van or stake bodied. It has additionally been engineered for gentle dump functions or tow vehicles and might be geared up with a 10kW e-PTO unit to drive accent gear like hoists. And perhaps the most effective information of all: the Class 6 model doesn’t require a business driver’s license (CDL) to function for non-hazardous payloads.


Figures on the x-axis represent mileage traveled. The y-axis represents the percentage of the vehicle population. Mack found that 80% of its MD customers drive less than 250 miles per day, while 50% of the customers drive less than 125 miles per day.  -  Source: Mack Trucks

Figures on the x-axis signify mileage traveled. The y-axis represents the share of the car inhabitants. Mack discovered that 80% of its MD prospects drive lower than 250 miles per day, whereas 50% of the purchasers drive lower than 125 miles per day.

Supply: Mack Vans


Driving the MD Electrical

I had the chance to drive the diesel model of the MD a few months after it launched in March 2020, simply because the pandemic was gripping America. It impressed me then, and that holds true for the electrical model. I famous on the finish of that take a look at drive story that the MD was a truck completely fitted to electrification. Mack wasn’t making any predictions at the moment, however right here it’s — an all-electric MD.

Except for altering out the diesel powertrain for an electrical motor and batteries, not a lot has modified on the MD. It nonetheless has a formidable checklist of ordinary driver consolation options, and I remarked on the time how quiet the cab was. It was proper up there with a lot of the high-end Class 8 fashions I’ve pushed just lately, together with the Anthem. I additionally actually preferred the steering and dealing with of the truck.

“The steering was a delight, and the dealing with on S-curves and less-than-perfect nation roads was outstanding,” I wrote. “It was proper at residence on downtown metropolis streets. A proper flip from the curb lane, owing to the size of the truck, required me to cross solely barely into the adjoining lane to finish the flip. Good marks for maneuverability.”

Through the ride-and-drive occasion, we drove a few laps across the observe on the Sonoma Raceway. It wasn’t a full-length take a look at drive, nevertheless it nonetheless left me happy. There have been a number of grade modifications to the observe and a few good twisting turns.

The recuperative braking was very nice. It has a three-position steering column mounted selector that permits drivers to decide on the extent of retarding energy wanted, very like an engine brake. Place three (full) was a bit aggressive for the frivolously loaded vehicles we drove, however with a little bit of weight within the field, it could be effectively on its option to being a one-pedal truck within the arms of a talented driver.

Clearly, it was tremendous quiet and actually torquey. It is electrical in any case, and all BEVs share these attributes. However the MD is quiet to start with. I believe drivers will love working full shifts in relative silence.


Based on some generalized and simplified calculations, Mack says the sweet spot where TCO turns positive on the MD model is about three years.  -  Source: Mack Trucks

Primarily based on some generalized and simplified calculations, Mack says the candy spot the place TCO turns constructive on the MD mannequin is about three years.

Supply: Mack Vans


The Enterprise Case

Not like the Class 8 facet of the enterprise, the celebrities are higher aligned for medium-duty vehicles, notably for field vehicles like Mack’s MD. As HDT has written beforehand, constructive TCO on such vehicles is already confirmed.

“Gentle- and medium-duty are the perfect functions for [electrification] proper now,” stated Lydia Vieth, a analysis analyst in electrification and autonomy at ACT Analysis. “Our evaluation already reveals there’s a constructive monetary case for switching from diesel to electrical.”

Primarily based on some generalized and simplified calculations, Mack says the candy spot the place TCO turns constructive on the MD mannequin is about three years.

“The three-year mark is the place you get the constructive TCO,” stated Mack vice chairman and e-mobility enterprise unit chief, George Fotopoulos, talking on the Sonoma Journey-and-Drive occasion. “Clearly, that is going to develop by the fourth and fifth-year marks, and the delta goes to get higher all the way in which out by 10 years.”

Mack based mostly its assumptions on elements comparable to 30,000 annual miles, $40,000 IRA tax credit score, equal maintenances cots between diesel and electrical, barely greater insurance coverage prices, a 9% rate of interest on financing for a diesel and vitality prices of $0.12/kWh versus $4 diesel.

For many medium-duty customers, elements that restrict acceptance of Class 8 vehicles — extra weight and decreased vary — do not come into play. Mack says the 26,000-lb GVW Class 6 model of the MD electrical with the 150-kWh battery configuration will likely be simply 1,000 kilos heavier than the diesel model. The 33,000-lb GVW Class 7 model of the MD Electrical will likely be about 3,000 kilos heavier than its diesel counterpart.

Mack’s printed vary estimates of 140 miles for the 2-battery 150 kWh configuration, and 230 miles for the 240 kWh 3-battery put the MD Electrical squarely inside documented buyer use profiles.

“The vary take a look at that we do relies on diminishing hundreds — out absolutely loaded, return to base empty,” stated Fotopoulos. “And since local weather is a variety figuring out issue, we did our checks within the Greensboro, North Carolina, space in ambient temperatures which can be nice for human beings. Nonetheless, chilly or actually chilly climate might shorten the estimated vary by 10-20% respectively.”

Mack believes this truck will likely be a one-for-one alternative for present diesel vehicles in most functions. Fleet won’t want two or three electrical MDs to interchange a diesel due to weight and vary restrictions or availability constraints imposed by charging occasions.

Clients are getting critical now with company social duty (CSR), and surroundings, social, and governance (ESG) objectives. They’re actively urging their transportation suppliers to get aboard too, and the earlier the higher.

Medium-duty field vehicles, just like the MD Electrical, are a much less advanced method into that area than Class 8. And Mack is making it about as simple because it might be for fleets.



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